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NT prison staff left vulnerable: Giles

AAP logoAAP 8/08/2016 By Neda Vanovac

Youth detention staff in the Northern Territory have been made vulnerable by the government's ban on spithoods and restraint chairs, the chief minister says.

Adam Giles announced the ban almost two weeks ago following the Four Corners broadcast of young people being abused by staff at Darwin's Don Dale youth detention centre.

Over the weekend News Corp Australia reported that Dylan Voller - the teen shown assaulted, stripped, hooded and restrained in a mechanical chair - had featured in more than 800 reports for threatening violence towards staff and inmates, and had threatened to use the media to smear the names of officers.

Mr Giles on Monday denied the ban was a knee-jerk reaction.

"The reason the chair and spithoods were in place was to protect staff and to protect those inmates themselves," he told reporters.

"I don't think the reporting on Four Corners accurately reflected the true nature of the incidents.

"Let's not forget these are criminals and we have to protect prison officers ... and I do fear for those officers who work in that troubled position".

Earlier on Monday, Mr Giles denied a report into the corrections system was being withheld until after this month's election.

But he said he had also received another report on indigenous incarceration which has competing recommendations.

"If we release them both now, particularly where they've got competing recommendations, coming from different angles, it would be difficult to get recommendations, and also we have a royal commission that may recommend something completely different," he told Mix 104.9 FM in Darwin.

He denied that the government was withholding the Hamburger report until after the August 27 election because the report was unfavourable.

"Not at all, I've read both reports and neither report says everything's hunky-dory in the corrections system. Both say things need to be done, but both also say there have been a lot of improvements made," Mr Giles said.

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